Sunday, November 21, 2010

Calling Home

College Arabella has settled in quite nicely at school. Despite a few bouts of homesickness and an 8am-Fitness-Class-That-Must-Not-Be-Named, she's taken the college tiger, or, uh Cardinal, by the tail and is doing well.

We were talking on the phone the other day, in what was our longest conversation to date since she's been at college, including the times I've visited. Our conversations are usually hurried and frantic and always involve several of her friends and a television in the background. Imagine my surprise where this was a conversation where she actually wanted to...well...talk.

We parents/guardians were warned at orientation that conversations with college students can take on a surreal quality. For them, the conversation may not be about conveying information or actually conversing. The phone actually creates a space where the student is bridging the gap between college and home. So we did talk for quite some time and then, gradually, she began to drift into watching tv while I was on the phone.

At first I was a bit annoyed by her distraction. And it's only now, writing this that I understand our conversation was, for her, as if she were home and we were watching television together. She began relaying the events on television to me and even though I was quite ready to move on, something told me not to disengage her just yet. What I wanted was a conversation - how are you, are you eating, how are your classes. What she needed was the easy banter of being at home - a conversation punctuated by the silence of shared television watching and then picking up the conversation or starting a totally new track.

One bit of the conversation took an interesting turn. She was describing someone at school, who she feels is effortlessly funny. Even without trying, this girl keeps the class in stitches.

I replied that I tend to be that person at school and at work. I often don't mean to be funny - and it's generally when I'm most sincere that people find what I'm saying hillarious - and when I try to be funny, my jokes mostly fall flat. But the modified class clown act, tends to be mine.

"I don't think I know you at all," CollegeArabella replied, her meaning immediately plain to me. I knew she'd be surprised when I said it. She knows me as, what we affectionately call, The Mommy Person. The mommy who joined the PTA and made rice krispie treats and cupcakes when she was young, although no one was really fooled by that woman at all, least of all me. The one who lectures, scolds, hugs and cures all known illnesses with chicken noodle soup and jello. Mommy who dispenses advice that is always belatedly taken by a reluctant teen.

And although she's had several epiphanies that I had a life before she was born, I don't think it ever quite occured to her that I had an entire existence that didn't quite include her since she's been here. That I can tell a decent knock-knock joke and am prone to odd puns and falling back on shared movie references to illustrate my points, is the limit of my sense of humor as far as she's concerned. She see's me as lamely humorous, the way most children view their parents. That others may see me in another light, was nothing short of a minor epiphany for her.

Her comment was very astute. She doesn't really know me. She knows The Mommy Person and this is not entirely my fault. She made it plain, when she was younger that The Mommy Person is who she expected me to be. And so that's who I became with some minor points of rebellion where Grandma has filled in the gaps nicely; taking her to Church and Sunday School reguarly, making sure she went to daycamp every summer where I would have left her home to her own devices as I had been. Between my mother, Ye Olde Matey and me, we've given her, if not exactly a golden growing up, then definitely a rosy one. We look back on her growing up years through a lens that is dusty with dog hair and chipped around the edges in a few places by my early anger issues - but it's not a painful lens. If we'd only known then, what those days would mean to us now.

I thought for a long moment. Of so much I could have told her...so much I wanted to say...so much she needed to know. So many things I could have shared, but in the end, things that will bide their time.

What I finally said was a bit between reality and honesty.

"No, I don't think you know me at all. I'm not even sure you'd like me, " I chuckled, grinning into the phone. "But you like the Mommy Person." It was nearly a question, but more a confirmation.

"I love the Mommy Person," she said with affection and sureness, her voice holding the slightly fierce quality of her hugs that I miss so much.

So there it was at last. She knows and I know. Who I've been all these years is my expression of the depth of my love for her. But it's not exactly who I am. Not really.

So for now...just a bit a longer...that's who I'll be.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Scavenger Hunt Prizes

The Mid-Term election was one of the biggest disappointments I've had this year. It ranks right up there with CollegeArabella and me fighting like cats and dogs to get her off to college (granmda took over and got it done) and my Anniversary Scavenger Hunt being a bust.

I actually thought I had a few entries, but they turned out to be spam. LOL. At first I was all sad. I promoted it here, on facebook and hung up flyers all over but still....no takers. Oh well. I'm not Frito Lay.

At any rate, I have five t-shirts to give away so give them away I shall....and I've decided to give them to my favorite bloggers.

T-Shirt #1...
..goes to my blog pal Jo over at TheSkeptic One.
Ever the voice of reason, always with a perspective I haven't considered and just an all around cool person. My sometimes breakfast companion whom I've neglected for well over half a year. We will get together soon. Let's have breakfast and I'll bring you your t-shirt.

T-Shirt #2
... goes to Mike over at CityKin.
Half of my meager blog traffic comes from his blog and the other half comes from people looking for Ethan Kilmer. But I love his blog - it never fails to remind what a good place Cincinnati can be and how much better it could become if only people loved it like he does. Although I have it on good authority from Ye Olde matey that my t-shirt design is "too girly", I'm going to give one to Mike in the hopes he'll pass it on to a female family member.

T-shirts #3 & #4...
...go to Leesee and Reenee at Hasta Los Gatos Quieren Zapatos
A new blog I've come to love for many reasons, not the least of which - because they like me! The feeling is definitely mutual. Leesee and Reenee, "two hermanas sharing their wit and wisdom with the huddled masses" featured me in their weekly Blogs of Note and their comments made me ridiculously happy. Hasta Los Gatos Quieren Zapatos is insightful, quirky and a riot to read. Not for the politically correct, they have embraced the Blogger content warning wanner - and although I have yet to read anything objectionable there - it's a reminder that this blog is for adults.

That's four t-shirts and I still have one left....hmmm....I think I'll keep it just in case I ever do the scavenger hunt again. I'd give it to Drug Monkey but I already made him his own.

So....to claim your prize, please contact me with the DebLite contact me thingy over in the sidebar.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Who I'm voting for - all Dems with the notable exception of Chris Monzel for County Commissioner. I wouldn't vote Tarbell for dog catcher and I'm sick of him and his giant mural.

Governor/ Lt. Governor
Strickland/ Brown

Ohio Attorney Gen.
Richard Cordray

Auditor of State
David Pepper - Pepper for President? Hell why not? (sarcasm) Annoying DINO berk. Our side's answer to Leslie Ghiz only not quite as dense. We didn't elect him as mayor or to council, he finally ended up on the County Commission (God, I wish my family had the money to keep running me for stuff until I lucked up and won something) and now I guess we'll keep electing him on up the line until his picture is next to Peter Principle in the dictionary.

Secretary of State
Maryellen O'Shaughnessy

Treasurer of State
Kevin Boyce

US Representative
Steve Driehaus - more I know about Steve, the more I like him. I want your job some day Steve.

US Senate
Lee Fisher - I guess

State Representative - Dist.29
Liz Ping - knocked on my door and shook my hand. I liked her and Lou Blessing has annoyed me for ages. You have been Ping'd! Vote for her : )

OH Supreme Court
Eric Brown - Chief Justice
MaryJane Trapp
Pfeifer (unopposed)

OH Court of Appeals
Martha Good
William L. Mallory, Jr. - still don't like family dynasty's in politics. Like with Pepper, this is a problem.

Cour of Common Pleas
Luebbers (unopposed)
Ruehlman (unopposed)
West (unopposed)
Winkler (unopposed)
Nadine Allen

Court of Common Pleas - Juvenille Div.
Tracie Hunter

Court of Common Pleas - Domestic Rel.
Stephen Black
Tolbert (unopposed)

State Board of Ed
Pat Bruns

Hamilton County Commissioner
Chris Monzel

Hamilton County Auditor
Dusty Rhodes